I had family over from NYC (hi cuz!) last week so took a couple of days off to do the obligatory family-are-here-let’s-go-to-a-museum thing. Which is the only time I ever get a bit of culture – ridiculous really, seeing as there are, like, a zillion things to see and do in London, but anyway. We went to the V&A where there was an exhibition about crafts, called The Power of Making. I’m no culture vulture, nor can I really make anything (except a mess) but this was pretty ace. It had loads of weird and wonderful things made from weird and wonderful materials. None of which I particularly ‘got’ (which I guess is why I don’t go to museums much, I always leave feeling a bit thick). But aside from that, it also had loads of normal, everyday things – people making chairs, clothes, instruments etc etc, with a film on loop showing people actually going through the often painstaking process of building these things. As I was wandering around, I thought how cool it is that people can MAKE things. From scratch. Things we just go to a shop and buy. And actually, I felt pretty inspired. Not by the things themselves, but by the process of devoting effort and time and love and skill into something and the feeling that must bring when you see the finished result. Check it out here http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/power-of-making/ and go, if you can.
My friend Beth in work is into crafts, there always seems to be a random parcel on her desk from eBay where she’s bought stuff to make things (most recently, it was sloes to make sloe gin – who knew you could buy sloes on eBay? As an aside, the sloe gin we made in the summer, which was supposed to be for Christmas, was devoured by the boy wonder and his brother this weekend in one 15 hour session for little bro’s birthday. Thirsty work). Anyway look at these ace bedside tables Beth (sort of) made… http://www.handpickedhouse.com/post/10994089482/secretlyswearybedsidetables
At the weekend, I asked Goldenballs what his favourite food was (seeing as he will literally eat anything). And rather than his answer being ‘steak’ or ‘risotto’ or ’Sunday dinner’, he thought for a while and said ‘anything I’ve grown myself’, and explained how satisfying it is to look at his plate and remember that he’s tended it from scratch, looked after it, taken care over it, and how THAT’s the best thing about it, rather than the food itself.
Anyway the point I’m trying to make, very badly, is that it’s really easy to go through life complaining, getting bogged down with problems, being pissed off, dissatisfied and generally quite bored with the routine of get up, got to work, come home, cook tea, pay bills, do the food shopping, spend too much money on crap you don’t need to fill your life with some kind of interest or ‘meaning’ blah, blah, blah. I do it myself, more than I should. And finding something you love doing or making or growing, devoting time to it, honing a skill or an interest or a knowledge, is brilliant. You can’t buy it, or be given it. Watching someone else with a passion doing it is inspirational. I like inspiration. I’d like to have more of it in my life. I think everyone should.